The IMF tablet for ailing countries seeking help in its healing store is widely popular. It is cure to dilute the poisonous potion of government and state owned enterprises. Since Reagan-Thatcher grabbed the narrative of the global space, government is the problem and we need to tame Leviathan. No wonder when the foolishness of the Greeks after loose borrowing provided IMF another patient; the medicine was the golden template. Cut down spending, increase taxes and put up for stale state owned companies for privatization.
Now we know that IMF cure was proven deadlier than the disease in likes of Japan, Argentina, Latin America and when the Western governments rush into crisis- the next narrative is not cuts but stimulus. To the likes of Russia that wanted to banish the ghosts of communism, it found privatization as an absolute tablet. An overdose of privatization exposed the cruel form of capitalism. It drove a wedge into a social contract creating overnight oligarchs like Khodorkovsky and Abramovich. This was the creation of Boris Yeltsin, Russia late hour hero who braved the military tanks of Kremlin.
In Nigeria, we love the narrative that government screws up badly which is really true. Look at your feeble switch, mounds of filth in gutters, schools that mirror poultry pens, decaying hospitals and even the black uniform guy that demands bribe; its of embers burning in ashes with flames whizzing out. Government enterprises have been outsized repositories of beauty, crumbling pieces leaden with theft. We can count here a graveyard of public enterprises with unmarked epitaph.
The narrative becomes plausible when we need to sell off a nation’s patrimony to those privileged to afford it. The process to do it demands government. Here government proves to be the headache again. Government is to ensure that this process is thoroughly clear and represents the best interests of the community. But here, we did in a firesale style consummating the whole process the hands of gluttonous men. Men privileged to grab the reins of power, in a psychotic thinking arrogated the enterprises to their friends and family. The overruled rules and ethics putting up phosphorent patch on the looting of a nation’s patrimony. As the recent Senate hearing shows, a leadership battle of Obasanjo and Atiku turned the privatized assets of a state, the aggregation of toil and sweat of the past in a personal cult deciding who owns what.
We have taken this democracy as another pill doctored from the West. In the last twelve years, we have denounced all reasoning if this tablet had healed our multiple woes. Accepting that free speech in this experiment makes this overrule every senseless leadership we had in the past. We have not decided if we are not creating a cult of wealth that hijack state enterprises, disabuse public privileges to put up a tent of enormous wealth.
The last investigation on Power by Ndudi Elumelu is gathering dust on the Senate shelves, now this round of theatrics on privatization starts again. I am sorry the movie has come to an end because this is a Nigerian movie. It ends at the spot of the untouchables. The likes that deemed Oputa panel not worth attending, were deemed too big for Ndudi Elumelu Panel, and have no question to answer on Halliburton and Siemens Scandals. It is the likes of Obasanjo and the political family that lords over us. This is where the investigation hits the brakes and we reinvent another item for the news cycle. Gani would have continued this new episode by racing to the courts but God bless his unrelenting fight, it worked him till death. Even the courts after plea bargain dish out 2 years imprisonment template to most reviled looters after being boxed a team of senior advocates. I am sick and tired of this theatrics adding myself to this guttural part of history.
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. Evil becomes a sitcom, history and posterity won’t forgive and forget us.